A North Aurora man acquitted of severely scalding his toddler son in 2009 asked an appellate court Monday to reinstate his lawsuit against authorities for false arrest and malicious prosecution.
Jason Barnes claims authorities made misleading statements resulting in grand jury indictment and that a circuit court judge needed take another look at the lawsuit, said Barnes' attorney Ronald Stearney.
Barnes was told a state-mandated "safety plan" prohibited him from seeing his two children, but authorities never presented him with the plan. "Every day that Mr. Barnes was banned from seeing his child was a violation (of his rights)," Stearney said.
But Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Eric Gaeke, who represented Kane County prosecutors and investigators from the Kane County Child Advocacy Center, said overriding immunities granted to law enforcement and prosecutors would make it "futile" for Barnes to refile his lawsuit.
Barnes, now 41, was charged with heinous battery and other felonies in connection with the scalding of his 19-month-old son. The injuries resulted in the toddler having all of his toes amputated and having to learn to walk again, according to court testimony.
Barnes, who faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted, was found not guilty halfway through a bench trial in June 2011.
Now-retired Judge Timothy Sheldon ruled there was insufficient evidence against Barnes and therefore he did not have to call any defense witnesses.
Afterward, Barnes said his hot water heater had an unusually large amount of sediment inside of it, causing it to run extremely hot.
Kane County Judge James R. Murphy dismissed Barnes' lawsuit in December 2013.
"There are no facts to establish the elements of conspiracy to deprive plaintiff of his rights," Murphy wrote.
The appellate panel took the matter under advisement and did not give a time frame for its decision.
If the appellate panel sides with Barnes, it can only reinstate the lawsuit and cannot award him any potential damages.